FASTENER HISTORY How the Western Association of Fastener Distributors Began
1982 FIN – WAFD Off and Running
March 4, 1982 FIN - The Western Association of Fastener Distributors is off and running.
In which of the 13 Western states (including Alaska and Hawaii) or two Western provinces of Canada will the first board meeting be held? Columbus, Ohio, site of the fastener show-the one place they all knew they would be in May.
People from some 35-40 companies got together and in an 11:30 am to 8:30 pm session, put the thing together. It will have, initially, 50 members: 38 distributors, 11 suppliers and 1 manufacturers' rep.
The working name, Western Fastener Distributors Association, was rejected because it resembled too closely the name of one of the charter members: Western Fasteners in San Diego.
Spearheading the new organization has been Bob Lehman of Modern Metric Fasteners, Glendale, California. He saw the need for an organization with a broader geographic base and tighter membership rules than Los Angeles Fasteners Association. Board members from LAFA attended the meeting forming WAFD and relations between the two groups are expected to remain cordial.
The first general meeting will be this coming fall, some time around the first week in October, at a place yet to be picked. There will be a spring meeting in 1983. The two annual meetings for the general membership will be supplemented with board meetings and, probably, regional meetings.
WAFD has strict membership requirements patterned after National Fastener Distributors Association. You must have been in business for at least three years. No truck jobbers will be allowed. There will be requirements on the amount of inventory stocked. A supplier or rep has to have a warehouse or stock located somewhere from Denver on west.
President of the new organization is Larry Stanley, of Empire Bolt & Screw, Inc., Spokane, WA. Vice president is Dave Kendall, Portland Screw Co., Portland, OR. Secretary is Bob Lehman. Treasurer is Chuck Jenefsky, Industrial Bolt & Screw Co., Phoenix, AZ.
Editor's Note: In the summer of 2009 the Western Association of Fastener Distributors and the Los Angeles Fastener Association merged to become the Pacific-West Fastener Association. Below are excerpts from WAFD's Point of View history series in 1995 with Bob Lehman of Pacific Warehouse Sales and Dave Kendall of Portland Screw Co. recalling how WAFD started:
Bob Lehman recalled that early in 1982 he was talking with West-Spec Corporation sales manager Terry Jewell and they thought "it would be nice if we had a Western Fastener Association."
The next day Lehman spoke with Ken Winters - then the general manager of Fastener City - and scheduled a planning dinner with the three to try to start the organization. After a second dinner to develop a company invitation list.
"We drew up a letter and set a date to have this meeting at the Stevens Steak House in the City of Commerce. Terry typed up the letter and sent it out to about 50 companies, both suppliers and distributors," Lehman recalled.
The Los Angeles Fastener Association board - led by Dick Proteau of Fastron Co. - loaned $2,000 to pay for the room and meals at the Steak House. Lehman signed a promissory note. "When we collected our first dues, we paid back the LAFA, and I was off the hook for the note." Kendall said LAFA "wanted to help promote a West Coast association, but wanted to keep its own identity."
Kendall recalled that several early WAFD participants had been involved in the National Fastener Distributor's Association and felt that a more localized association would be beneficial to West Coast fastener companies.
There was no charge to the companies for the 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. meeting chaired by Lehman. By late afternoon the group elected a board: Picked for one-year terms on the board were: Martin Calfee, Harold Bensen and Mel Kirsner; two-year terms, Dave Kendall, Ray Bristow and Dick Thull; and Larry Stanley, Chuck Jenefsky and Bob Lehman were elected to three-year terms. The new board then elected Stanley president, Kendall vice president and Lehman secretary.
"We were also very lucky to have a first president like Larry Stanley who was so organized at every meeting," Lehman wrote. "He kept us all on our toes."
Lehman also credited Benson for drafting the WAFD bylaws - based on the LAFA and National Fastener Distributors Association bylaws.
Kendall said the group "devised a complicated formula for board member qualification: a minimum of six distributor members, no more than four board members from the Los Angeles area, equal voting rights for supplier members, and we established some new-membership guidelines."
The first official meeting was at the Hyatt on the north shore of Lake Tahoe. Kendall scouted out the hotel and made the initial arrangements. Stanley and Lehman met in Reno in the summer to get a speaker from the University of Nevada in Reno.
Kendall noted that "picking a name for our new association produced some interesting choices," which included: F A W S - Fastener Association of the Western States W I F D A - Western Industrial Fastener Distributor's Association W E R F D A - Western Regional Fastener Distributor's Association
"Looking back now, I can not believe how we did everything so fast and well," Lehman recalled in 1995.
"Within two years, WAFD was recognized as one of the best run and most productive associations in the country," Kendall declared.
WAFD Executive Directors
Vickie Lester of Lester Management Services recalled how she became executive director of WAFD: "It all has to do with Harold Benson," Lester wrote in 1995.
When WAFD started Leta Shattuck and Lester were working for an association which was moving to Washington D.C. so they found jobs with Davis/Replogle & Associates.
"Leta and Ben had been friends for a long time, so when WAFD needed administrative help, the board signed a contract with Davis/Replogle and Leta became the association's executive director." She came on board in time for the September 1993 meeting in Salishan. Shattuck moved on and Jean Replogle became WAFD's executive director with Lester assisting. "In 1985, she became less involved in the account and turned it over to me at the August meeting in Maui."
Lester left Davis/Replogle after the WAFD meeting on the Queen Mary in February 1986.
Minutes of the WAFD Formation Meeting Minutes of the Formation Meeting for Western Association of Fastener Distributors
Forrest Cornell, acting secretary (secretary of Los Angeles Fastener Association)
February 25, 1982 City of Industry, Calif.
The meeting was called to order at 11:30 a.m. by the acting Chairman, Bob Lehman. After introductions of everyone present, the meeting was turned over to Dick Proteau, President of Los Angeles Fastener Association (LAFA) who explained the purpose of the meeting, namely to determine the interest and feasibility of a western regional fastener association. The meeting was then returned to Bob Lehman who opened a discussion concerning a possible name for the organization. After proper discussion, it was decided to delay a decision until later in the organizational meeting.
Dick Proteau then outlined the various programs conducted by the LAFA. He concluded his remarks by outlining the feasibility of having both organizations working independently in the same area. The meeting was recessed at 12:30 for lunch.
At 2:00 p.m. Bob Lehman reconvened the meeting. It was determined at this point to form a steering committee to establish the parameters and guidelines for the new organization. Those appointed to the committee were Dave Kendall, Portland Screw Co.; Larry Stanley, Empire Bolt and Screw, Inc.; Mel Kirsner, Pell Mell Supply; Ken Winters, Aero Stopnut Co.; Barry Porteous, Porteous Fasteners; Martin Calfee, Copper State Bolt and Nut; and Harold Benson, Consolidated Bolt and Nut. These individuals then went into a conference to establish guidelines for the new organizations. Upon returning to the main meeting, spokesman Larry Stanley reported the following guidelines: (1) The geographical area to be included in the new organization is to be the 13 western states and the 2 western Canadian provinces. (2) There is to be a board of directors elected consisting of 9 members with each serving a 3-year consecutive term. In order to establish the proper rotation of board members, the initial board shall consist of 3 members serving 1-year terms, 3 members serving 2-year terms and the remaining 3 members serving 3-year terms. The following restrictions were placed on the selection of the Board of Directors: (1) No more than 4 members from the Los Angeles area may serve at any one time. (2) No more than 3 supplier members may serve at any one time. (3) From these 9 directors there will be elected a president, a vice president, a secretary and a treasurer.
The following membership qualifications were established: In order to maintain a distributor controlled organization, at least 60% of the members shall be distributors and the remaining 40% will consist of manufacturers, suppliers and manufacturers representatives. All members must have been in business a minimum of 3 years within the geographical area indicated above; the company must maintain a minimum of $100,000 of inventory in threaded products. Manufacturer representatives must have at least 1 major line with a stocking facility in the geographical area indicated above with a minimum of $100,000 of inventory in threaded products. A motion was made by Mel Kirsner to increase the minimum inventory necessary for all categories to $200,000. The motion was seconded and passed.
Nominations were then made for the 9 directors, with Ken Winters conducting the meeting as acting chairman. Voting took place with all nominees out of the room with the following results:
Elected for 1-year term: Mel Kirsner, Non Ferrous Manufacturing; Martin Calfee, Copper State Bolt & Nut; and Harold Benson, Consolidated Bolt & Nut
Elected for 2-year term: Dave Kendall, Portland Screw Co.;
Ray Bristow, Ray Bristow Co.; and Dick Thull, Porteous Fasteners
Elected for 3-year term: Larry Stanley, Empire Bolt & Screw Inc.; Bob Lehman, Modern Metric Co.; and Chuck Jenefsky, Industrial Bolt Co.
A motion was then made and seconded for charter membership dues and initiation fees, the initiation fee to be $100 and dues to commence with 1982 in the amount of $200. The motion passed.
It was further decided to hold two meetings each year with the fall meeting being the annual meeting and a conference meeting in the spring, with the board of directors determining location and programs.
The final topic of discussion before recessing for dinner was the selection of a name for the organization. The name selected was Western Association of Fastener Distributors. The meeting was adjourned at 5:30 p.m. for dinner.
The newly elected board of directors held their first meeting at this time in a separate area for the purpose of electing officers. Two members were nominated for the presidency: Larry Stanley and Martin Calfee with Larry Stanley being elected. The nominations were then opened for vice president with Dave Kendall and Chuck Jenefsky being nominated with Dave Kendall being elected.
Then the nominations were opened for treasurer with Dave Kendall and Chuck Jenefsky being nominated. Chuck Jenefsky was unanimously elected as: treasurer. At this point, Bob Lehman volunteered to be the secretary and after some discussion by the board, he was unanimously elected.
The next order of business was the appointment of various board members to be committee chairmen by President Larry Stanley. The appointments were: Finance - Chuck Jenefsky; Constitution and Bylaws - Harold Benson; Membership - Mel Kirsner and Dick Thull; Site selection - Dave Kendall and Ray Bristow, Jr.; Program - Ray Bristow, Jr. and Dave Kendall; Public relations and publicity - Martin Calfee; Newsletter - Martin Calfee; Liaison to other fastener associations - Bob Lehman; Liaison to Link Magazine - Bob Lehman
The next order of business was the matter of dues. After a great deal of discussion it was moved, seconded and passed that the amount of dues to be collected from each member company be set at $200 annually with an initiation fee of $200 per member company after the initial enrollment of all charter member companies. It was duly decided all charter member companies would pay an initiation fee of $100. It was further determined that a charter member would be any company who was invited to the organizational meeting, who met the guidelines which were to be drawn up and who paid within 60 days, all fees due.
It was agreed that the next directors meeting would be held in Columbus, Ohio, in conjunction with the 2nd Annual National Fastener Show on Monday, May 3, 1982. It was unanimously decided that the food and beverage costs incurred for this dinner meeting would be paid for by the association; however, airfare and lodging would be the responsibility of each director and officer.
It was further agreed to hold a directors meeting on June 24, 1982 at the site of the fall conference. A discussion ensued concerning possible fall sites as well as the number of members we might expect to attend. Other items discussed were the bylaws and the collection of dues prior to the establishment of those bylaws. It was unanimously agreed we could proceed to collect dues immediately.
The Board then took up the issue of the signing of checks; It was unanimously agreed that the treasurer and the president be authorized to sign checks with only one signature being required.
The next order of business was choosing a date for the fall conference. It was decided the first choice would be October 7 to 10, 1982, and the second choice would be September 30 to October 3, 1982. Consideration was given to the scheduling of other fastener association activities. The following additional items were approved:
1. As soon as enough funds had been collected, the association will pay back the Los Angeles Fastener Association for the costs they incurred in organizing the new western regional association.
2. That March would be the best month for the spring conference.
At this time a motion was made and seconded to adjourn the meeting. It was unanimously approved at 6:45 p.m.
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